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Case for marketing research

You are encouraged to review the appropriate tutorial before beginning this case. 2. The data required for this case is located in the My Marketing Engineering directory (usually located within My Documents). There are three data files used for this case: Forte Hotel Data (Conjoint, 1 Ratings). XSL Forte Hotel Data (Conjoint, 2 Farnsworth). XSL Forte Hotel Data (Conjoint, 3 Analysis). XSL Forte Executive Nines Forte Hotels, a large European hotel chain, is developing a new hotel chain in the United States.

The chain, named Forte Executive Nines, will combine the ambiance of a European hotel with American functionality and convenience. Forte decided to invest in this hotel chain partly to take advantage of the increasing numbers of business people traveling from Europe to the United States. Case for marketing research By lady Forte Hotels is the United Kingdom’s largest hotel chain. Its hotel brands include Lee Meridian, Forte Crest, Forte Posthumous, Forte Gasp and Forte Travelogue.

In addition, Forte Hotels includes an international group of 80 upscale hotels such as the Watergate Hotel, Washington, D. C. ; Hyde Park Hotel, London; and King Edward Hotel, Toronto. Recently the company’s chairman, Sir Rocco Forte, announced that he plans o sell the Travelogue

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chain in the United States. In its place, Forte Hotels will develop a new chain targeted toward European and American business travelers, Forte Executive Nine. Forte’s strategy in developing the new chain is twofold.

European business travelers in the United States will recognize the Forte name and associate it Copyright 2008 by Decision, Inc. To order copies or request permission to reproduce materials, go to www. Decision. Biz. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, used in a spreadsheet, or transmitted in any form or by any means – electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise – without the permission of Decision, Inc. With comfort and service.

Forte executives also expect that American business travelers will associate the new chain with “pampering” that is often lacking in the mid-priced hotel chains, while at the same time perceiving the hotel to have all the functionality of American hotel chains. Although the hotels will have a European ambiance, the facilities and services will be comparable to those available in such hotel chains as Hilton, Sheraton and Courtyard by Marriott. Preliminary Evaluation A recent survey indicated that the top three reasons business travelers choose a hotel are price, location, and brand name.

Forte Executive Nines would be mid-priced, around $100 per night. The company is in the process of securing several prime locations near suburban commercial centers throughout the United States. In addition, the company will leverage the Forte brand name in naming the new chain. Forte now faces the challenge of fine-tuning the specific characteristics of the hotel to ensure that it will appeal to both American and European business travelers. A search of business databases provided some preliminary insights on the references of business travelers.

Among men (60 percent of business travelers in the United States), price, location, and convenience are among the top reasons why a business traveler might try a new hotel. Women travelers place more emphasis on safety and cleanliness than do men. Although these considerations, combined with the overall image of the brand name, are important in generating trial, it is the hotel’s unique characteristics (attributes) that encourage repeat visits. Other recent surveys have suggested a range of potential amenities that interest at least 30 percent of seines travelers.

These include in-room computer facilities; on-site conference facilities; rooms with well-lit work areas with large desks and swivel chairs; and telecommunication facilities, such as speakerphones and data ports. A survey by a leading credit card company suggests that about half the European business travelers to the United States look for hotels that will look after them and let them assignments quickly and efficiently. Given these preliminary insights, Forte realized that it needed to thoroughly understand the preferences of the hotel’s target market o create a successful new hotel chain.

Conjoint Analysis (Matching Hotel Attributes to Customer Preferences) As a first step, the company decided to explore consumer preferences for five key attributes on which Forte Executive Nines could be differentiated: room type, business amenities, leisure facilities, conveniences and extras, and restaurants and dining. Within each attribute, it defined several different options (Exhibit 1). It did not include hotel features that are common to all existing and proposed hotels among the options.

Thus for comparison purposes, it considered hotel room types of roughly he same square-foot area, with data-ports and other facilities in the rooms. Forte’s challenge was to decide which combination of the attribute options in Exhibit 1 would most appeal to its target audience. The management team has authorized you to use conjoint analysis to determine this in a “scientific manner. ” It has recruited 300 business travelers to participate in the conjoint analysis study. For this exercise, you will use the information obtained from 40 of the respondents (Exhibit 2).

FORTE HOTEL DESIGN CASE EXERCISES Design: Using a blank Excel spreadsheet, follow Step 1 in the Conjoint Tutorial ND develop Study Design Template Study Design Template) for Forte, using the attributes and levels from Exhibit 1 . Next, follow Step 2 in the Tutorial, Create a data collection instrument, selecting “Ratings” method and “1 ” for the number of respondents (you). When you are done, check to be sure that your sheet looks like the “Forte Hotel Data (Conjoint, 1 Ratings)” data set in My Marketing Engineering.

Then, briefly summarize the advantages and limitations of describing products as bundles of attribute options. Utility assessment: Using the sheet that you created in Question 1, rate each of the O,” as described in Step 3 in the Tutorial. When you are done, follow Step 4 in the Tutorial and perform a utility assessment for yourself Study Design Template>>Estimate Preference Part Worthy). Interpret your own preferences on the resulting Part Worthy Sheet. 3. Open the “Forte Hotel Data (Conjoint, 2 Farnsworth)” data set in My Marketing Engineering and review the Farnsworth developed from the respondents in this case.

Based on your experiences in completing these tasks, summarize the advantages and limitations of conjoint analysis for obtaining preference data from customers. . Analysis: Open the Forte Hotel Data (Conjoint, 3 Analysis) data set in My Marketing Engineering, which has competed Steps 5 and 6 in the Tutorial you. Follow Step 7 in the Tutorial, Analysis) and assess the viability of the four specific hotel concepts that Forte is exploring for the State College area. Base this evaluation on the preferences of a sample of 40 business travelers on that sheet (Exhibit 2) and the cost estimates summarized in Exhibit 3.

The base cost to build each hotel room (without the attributes and options listed in Exhibit 3) is expected to be about $40,000 or a 150- to 200-room hotel, regardless of the mix of room types. 5. Identify the optimal product concept from among those Forte is considering. Explain how you arrived at your recommendation. 6. Would you recommend product concepts other than the four Forte is considering for the State College market? Explain how you arrived at your recommendation(s). The file used in Question 4 has the four options Forte is considering predefined for you.

In the Conjoint Analysis Options menu that appears when you begin the Run Analysis step, you can select “Include Optimal Product Profiles” to have the software 7. Summarize the major advantages and limitations of a conjoint study for new product design. What conditions favor the use of this approach in the hotel industry? (Consider such factors as types of customers and market conditions in responding to this question. ) 8. After hearing about the study, a manager at Forte claimed that “A conjoint study is a major deterrent to excellence in hotel design.

It’s a crutch for managers with no vision and conviction. On the surface, it sounds sensible enough: find out exactly what features customers prefer before you finalize the design. But in practice, this is impossible. Customers cannot tell you what they really prefer without experiencing all the choices available to them. Even if you show them pictures or prototypes, the preferences they express are apt to veer off in the direction of mediocrity. This type of study gives you a Hounded with a Mercedes grille, Prince tennis rackets endorsed by Deed McMahon, Big Macs with everything, and hotels with no personality!

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